Our days in Florida and the Bahamas flew by and it was time to return to Bayonne. Unlike the one ‘at sea’ day from Bayonne to Cape Canaveral, we had 2 on the return trip. I was glad to have a day at the end, as many of the activities were less crowded than on the first days. Maybe we planned better, or maybe more people were happy to just kick back and relax. But our second day as sea was much more active and fun than the first. Our third day at sea? Ehh, we were ready to be home by that point.
Our first day went like this:
9 am: Breakfast
10ish: Rock climbing (Sport rang the bell twice! I got halfway up and felt done.)
2 rides on Flowrider, pool, hot tub (We secured chairs earlier this time around)
1ish: Lunch, more Flowrider
5:30: Formal dinner
7ish: Promenade deck for too many family pictures
Sport and my cousin went off to play basketball and shuffleboard. With minutes to spare, Bean and I got some crepes at the Windjammer
The next day was a similar parade of eating, rock climbing, Flowrider, hot tub and lunch. Since it was our last lunch at the Windjammer, an enormous cake was on display. I don’t really remember what kind it was or if it was good. But since I noted it in my journal, it must have been really big.
The girls and I also took a break during the day to color in the card room. It was the first time we’d been in that section and it was cool and relaxing. We did a little shopping as well and just tried to enjoy our day without feeling like we were trying to pack it all in.
Overall we enjoyed these days. But, I don’t think any of the adults would have been too upset if our 7 night cruise was 6 nights and there was one less day at sea. Halfway through the sixth day, we all kind of looked at each other and said, “We’re doing this again tomorrow?” If you ask the kids, however, they never wanted to leave the ship.
Our last day was an uneventful breakfast at Cafe Promenade and then heading to the theater to disembark. We got our baggage, met our driver and were home nice and early! I’ll do a separate post about my thoughts of the ship and cruising in general. But I thought it was funny that I didn’t think my husband was having fun. When I mentioned it to him, he said he loved it! So, we’d definitely cruise again but armed with more knowledge to make a better decision.
At the beginning, I shared some of our cruising concerns:
Feeling stuck on the ship: This was not a problem. Although the first at sea day felt very crowded and the last one felt too long, we didn’t feel cramped or trapped. Next time, I’d choose an shorter itinerary or one with more ports of call. (This is difficult-it seems our cruises many years ago just stopped in more places. Finding a 7 day with more than 3 stops was difficult. I guess the longer you’re on the ship, the more money you spend!)
Coordinating with 17 people: This was tricky. We found out later some families use walkie talkies. I don’t anticipate traveling with such a large group again, but would get the walkies next time.
Getting sick: We are not sure how or why, but my cousin picked something up. She had to spend her last night in quarantine! No one else in our group got sick, so the cause remains a mystery. But Royal Caribbean was very proactive in separating her from the general population.
Not enough time in port: I’d really prefer docking by 8 and not leaving until 8 or 9. But like the stops, time in port seems to be shrinking. I get that less time in port is cheaper, but it’s also less fun and convenient.